BY Emma Pérez-Treviño

HARLINGEN — One candidate alone in the race for Cameron County judge raised more than a quarter of a million dollars in his bid for the top administrative post.

But the candidate, Cameron County holdover Pct. 4 Commissioner Dan Sanchez, said he is not beholden to any contributor.

The money is so serious, it translates to about three new houses, if one goes with $80,000-plus as the average value of a house.

Sanchez started his campaign for county judge with nearly $32,000 in his war chest late last year.

Through Feb. 20, he raised an additional $221,425.

“Campaigns are expensive,” Sanchez said, “and we don’t know if we are going to end up in a runoff or not. Whenever there are three people in the race, typically a runoff is expected, and those get expensive as well. It’s like starting a new election.”

In contrast, candidate Eddie Treviño, former Brownsville mayor, has raised $22,350 and is financing his race with $120,000 in his personal money and bank loans in his second bid for the county judge post. His 2010 bid for the county judge post was unsuccessful.

Candidate Elizabeth “Liz” Garza has raised nearly $5,000 in her bid for the county judge post, and also is financing the remainder of her expenses of about $10,000.

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Campaign statements of campaign contributions and expenditures in the race for the Democratic Party’s nomination for Cameron County judge as of late this month.

Dan Sanchez:

Contributions: $221,425

Expenditures: $153,512

Maintained at the end of reporting period: $97,011

(Note: Sanchez last year also had about an added $32,000 in his war chest).

Eddie Treviño Jr.

Contributions: $22,350

Expenditures: $140,817

Outstanding loans: $120,000

Elizabeth “Liz” Garza

Contributions: $4,905

Expenditures: $14,429

(Note: She has injected personal funds to make up the difference.)

Source: Cameron County election records